Transgender Students - We need a way RIGHT NOW to track the legal first names of students so that the names are hidden but still usable in the system

We need a way to track the legally-defined first names of students that allows us to keep those names hidden from view but also allows the system to pull those names for display on transcripts, report cards, and contracts. There is simply no way to accomplish this with the current system and that is causing overwhelming distress for the affected students, the parents of the affected students, and the school. The solution could be as easy as Blackbaud allowing us to select a custom field to display on the report cards, transcripts, and contracts rather than the "first" and/or "preferred" fields. But, Blackbaud only allows you to select from a tiny number of built-in fields on those documents. Blackbaud is incredibly behind in regard to the concept of transgender students and oblivious to what is going on in schools.

  • Levi Tonet
  • Nov 18 2021
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  • Melissa Handy commented
    25 Apr 10:52pm

    We want to use the Preferred name like a nickname field. Then have the First Name be the formal name, including the formal version of a trans or nonbinary person's adopted name. Then we need a Legal Name that can be printed on the Transcript in place of/without the other versions "Legal First Name, Last Name"

    The reason we would not use Preferred name for the first name is that often it is a nickname and we only want a more formal name on the transcript. We need to hide the Legal name from faculty who take attendance or whose subs use printed rosters to take attendance. We do not want faculty or subs to accidentally deadname (use the wrong name) with these students. We are not hiding the information from parents but we don't want school personnel to harm students unknowingly.

  • Jen Kenyon commented
    7 Jun, 2023 04:52pm

    Regarding your questions to the group:
    1) At our school, we do not keep the students' classroom "preferred" name
    as a secret from the parents.
    2) Yes, the registrar needs access to legal names for printing
    transcripts/official records, and we also need a way for teachers and the
    community directories to display the "preferred" name as the default -
    without the legal name attached in any way.
    3) Yes, we need the name used in the classroom, on rosters and lists, in
    groups, on all directories to be the "preferred" name, and the legal name
    to be an admin-only version just for official records like transcripts or
    to verify state/federal documentation or legal requests/subpoenas.

    Finally, we would agree with the other poster who indicated the term*
    "Preferred"* is problematic. At our school, the "Preferred" name would be
    better described as the default public name, essentially the only name
    available in every way that students, teachers and families can find it. We
    would distinguish the "legal name" from the default name, and that would be
    the field for the name on the birth certificate/passport/governmental ID
    that is used by the registrar/admin for official documentation only.

    Looking forward to updates!
    Thank you!

    Jennifer Kenyon
    Operations Manager and Registrar

    3131 Olympic Blvd.
    Santa Monica, CA 90404

    **Due to the high volume of records requests at this time, please allow 3-5
    business days for records processing. *

  • lauren marcus eisenberg commented
    5 Jun, 2023 01:17pm

    From a transgender perspective, we need both the legal name/gender as well as preferred name/identify as gender. We work in partnership with the families to support students: to my knowledge, students are supported by both.

    Some thoughts:

    • The medical contact sheet which goes with the student in case of emerency must align with the legal name = forms submitted by the pediatrician. We supportively and sensitively explain that when it comes to any official documents, the legal name must appear. At such time as there is a legal change, we will update the record.

    • Likewise, registrar (that's essentially me!) and the admission team would usually need to know about both names.

    • Enrollment contracts must show legal name and, ideally, the preferred or nickname.

    • All directories and reports used "internally" by the community should show only the preferred name for trans students.

    • Last I checked, state reporting(NY) was insisted on an indication of M/F for gender. From this perspective, I have been manually adjusting as needed, but perhaps there is a need for yet another gender field ("identifies as" if different than M/F)?

    • Wondering as I type: parallell to the "maiden name" field, is there a need for a field along the lines of "previously known as" or "formerly"? And, by extension, where/when might this appear? Ditto for gender?

    • There are also students with nicknames, i.e. Miriam who goes by Miri or Rafaela / Yaya. Our Miri would prefer to see that name in the family directory. Not sure about Yaya. It would be nice to be able to toggle along the lines of Show in Report/Don't Show.

  • Anita Pinkerton commented
    4 Jun, 2023 10:57pm

    Please make sure that all of this can be completely turned off if we do not need it. We have been trying to get pronouns removed even from an admin view to no avail.

  • Admin
    Jessica Walters commented
    4 Jun, 2023 09:16pm

    Hi everyone! The Core team will be working on diversity, equity, and inclusion items this summer, including working to make preferred name more available throughout the system. We will work to make User name format referenced by many more areas, and we'll be adding configuration options to point to preferred-else-first name (like in Directories).

    However, I've heard feedback that use of Preferred name is not always so straight-forward. I have a few questions I'd like to ask of this group: 1) Do you have situations where the student is supported by the school but not out to their parents? In those situations, where would you need to preserve first name instead of preferred name? 2) Are there instances where one group of users (like teachers) would need to see preferred name but admin users (like a registrar) would need to see the first name with the preferred name? 3) User name format currently allows you to configure only one format; does your school need the ability to configure multiple? If so, how/where would an alternate format be used?

    If you have previously replied in a Community post or sent me an email, I have saved your responses so you won't need to submit them more than once. Thanks so much for your feedback!

  • Anita Pinkerton commented
    2 Jun, 2023 05:28pm

    This should not be expedited over other items in the system that have been languishing for years.

  • lauren marcus eisenberg commented
    22 May, 2023 05:00pm

    By extension, I'd like to see a distinction for gender: legal and identifies as.

  • Jeff Harrison commented
    29 Mar, 2023 07:54pm

    As a private school, between 10% to 15% of our students are now transgender or non-binary. With blackbaud's failure to acknowledge that they broke this system and refusal to fix what was once working, we are considering alternatives.

  • Jeff Harrison commented
    8 Sep, 2022 08:10pm

    This is actually something that they broke! I believe it was in 2020 they added the preferred name field. You could then set the name format so teachers and students wouldn't see first name if the preferred name was set. When they updated grade books attendance and grade books started to ignore the setting in Core->Users->User Name settings->Username Format.

  • Michael Sullivan commented
    8 Sep, 2022 03:37pm

    We are also seeing a large increase in trans and non-binary students. In addition to what has been mentioned, our integration with Magnus Health will not accept Doctor's notes if the name is not the legal name. We need to have the flexibility to accomodate our students and also comply with regulations.

  • Michelle Johnson commented
    20 Apr, 2022 09:40pm

    We are also experiencing a huge uptick in trans and non-binary students who are not only mortified by seeing their "dead" name published on the teacher view of attendance and contact cards, plus the team sports view, but they are also very clear that saying "preferred" name is insulting, as they don't consider it preferred but simply their name. This is a significant and critical topic that BB should expedite! Students feel as though they are coming-out over and over when they and their classmates see the dead name as the teacher projects the attendance screen, and it can be quite traumatic for them.

    Maybe there is a way to have a separate field titled "Legal or Transcript Name" that is not published anywhere other than on the transcripts and with the people who need that information.

    I implore you to PLEASE push this to the top of the list. Our students are suffering and although we are trying hard to work around the system, this is a matter honoring a student's identity and their right to privacy. Thank you.